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There were times when the weight of millennia weighed heavily on Ischbak Gatrog Nurgle. Not even the contemplation of all the lovely pestilences he had spread could cheer him up. The crop of bright new purple pustules that grew like grapes on his chest gave him not a flicker of pride, and the capering of his daemonic minions seemed tawdry and tedious.
He looked out across the cavernous interior of his great wagon and it brought him no joy. The symphony of flatulence being performed by his followers faded under his empty angry gaze till only a solitary Beastman, too stupid to stop, twanged his goiter.
Ischbak loomed up from his cart, feeling his huge bulk shake his rickety throne. He glared down on his silent followers, unable to derive any pleasure from their terror any more. He let out a long groan. It was all so unbearably tedious.
'I'm bored,' he said, letting eons of ennui show in his voice.
'Nurgle is bored. Two thousand two hundred and twenty two,' muttered Fabian, most conscientious of his Plaguebearers.
'Nurgle is bored,' roared Manthrax the Minotaur, swatting at a Nurgling who came too close.
'Nurgle is bored.' The muttered undercurrent passed round the interior of the wagon. A few of the wiser champions were beginning to back off towards the edge of the room.
A few Nurglings broke out of Ischbak's exposed innard and swam like tadpoles in the pus that surrounded them. Ischbak gently raised one and placed it on the arm of his throne. He tickled its stomach gently so that it giggled.
The Great Unclean One surveyed his followers' blank, uncomprehending faces. None of them showed the slightest glimmer of understanding. Ischbak had spent all the time since the beginning of the world creating, spreading and observing new diseases. Had he not invented the Crimson Death which covered its victims in great blisters while they writhed in fever? And the loathsome Gutrot whose sufferers' bellies swelled until they burst, and many others.
Once he had been proud of his creations, taking as much pleasure in them as any other artist. Now they seemed shallow and meaningless. Was he really going to spend the rest of eternity engaged in such petty activity? He had heard that his great rival Gzarik Redclaw Nurgle had perfected a new form of food poisoning that infected fresh crops with tiny Nurglings. It was so depressing.
The door burst open and his driver Jurt burst in, a smile on what was left of his leprously eroded lips.
'A settlement, Great Nurgle,' he yelled. The noise hurt Ischbak's ears. He gestured for the coachman to speak more quietly. He tried to work up some enthusiasm for the task at hand. He gave a phlegmy sigh.
'What kind of settlement,' he asked wearily.
'Halflings, oh loathsome one.'
His followers waited with baited breath for his response. Halflings, he thought, feeling a slight glimmer of interest almost in spite of himself. A part of him had been enjoying wallowing in melancholia.
Then inspiration struck him. Perhaps he should treat the runts to the joys of depression. Yes that was it! He would do it!
He looked down on his children and smile. They tittered in relief.
'A lesson for you, my pretties,' he said. 'No matter how we feel we must always think of our public. The show must go on!'
He brought his fist down hard on the Nurgling. It burst with an emphatic squelch.
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